Health A-Z


Clinical Definition The original definition of a calorie was the quantity of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water from 0 to 1 degree Celsius. Now, it is commonly used as a unit for measuring the amount of energy contained in food. In Our Own Words A calorie is the unit


Clinical Definition Cancer is not a single disease, but the general name that applies to more than 100 diseases. Each cancer has in common abnormal cells that grow in an uninhibited way and in the process, possibly forming tumors (i.e., abnormal growth of tissue). Cells become cancerous due to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage. In every

Canker Sore

Clinical Definition Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are painful oral sores that are typically red in color but sometimes with a white, yellow or gray center. Traditionally less than a millimeter in diameter, they appear on the inside of the lips, inside the cheeks, under the tongue or at the base of the


Clinical Definition This macronutrient is an organic compound that is made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules. The structure of the molecules dictates whether it is a monosaccharide (glucose, galactose and fructose), disaccharide (sucrose, lactose and maltose) or polysaccharide (starch and glycogen). In Our Own Words Carbohydrates are nutrients the body needs in relatively


Clinical Definition A carcinogen is an agent or substance that may damage cellular DNA or alter cell metabolism, and, in so doing, potentially lead to the development of cancer. Carcinogens are classified according to their carcinogenicity. In Our Own Words A carcinogen is something believed to contribute to the development of cancer. Usually, a carcinogen

Caregiver Stress

Clinical Definition Caregiver’s stress is a state of exhaustion – physical, mental and emotional – that occurs when those who attend to others with chronic medical conditions do not get the help they need, or stretch themselves too thin physically or financially. When anxiety progresses to a feeling of recurring burnout, research shows that caregivers’

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Clinical Definition Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compression neuropathy that occurs when increased pressure of the median nerve in the proximal forearm develops. The median nerve, which extends from the forearm to the hand, provides motor and sensory function to the thumb and three of the fingers. When compression occurs, hand function can be compromised.


Clinical Definition Cataplexy is an acute, transient attack characterized by hypertonia and weakness. Weakness can be generalized or limited to certain muscle groups. Precipitating factors associated with cataplexy are intense emotional stimuli, such as anger and fear. A decrease in hypocretin, which is a neurotransmitter, is believed to be a contributing factor to cataplexy. Cataplexy


Clinical Definition Normally, the lens in the eyes are clear or transparent. However, a cataract is an abnormal clouding or opacity of the eye’s crystalline lens. The opacity can lead to a decrease in vision and possibly blindness. Cataracts are thought to develop as a result of age-related degenerative alterations to the proteins in the


Clinical Definition A cavity is the progressive demineralization of the structure of the tooth, causing a hollow space. Acid from dental plaque damages the tooth and leads to destruction of the tissue. A cavity starts by invading the enamel, but can progress into deeper structures including the dentin and cementum. In Our Own Words A cavity

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